Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over pandemic contracts

Posted on 24th March, 2021


A BBC article wrote:


"Matt Hancock acted unlawfully when his department did not reveal details of contracts it had signed during the Covid pandemic, a court has ruled.


A judge said the health secretary had "breached his legal obligation"  ... "The public had a right to know where the "vast" amounts spent had gone and how contracts were awarded..."


The government said it fully recognised the "importance of transparency".


The judge also said publishing the details allowed bodies such as the National Audit Office, as well as Parliament and the public, to "scrutinise and ask questions about this expenditure".


In his ruling, Mr Justice Chamberlain said: "There is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the secretary of state breached his legal obligation to publish contract award notices within 30 days of the award of contracts.


... he added that the DHSC's "historic failure" to publish details of contracts awarded during the pandemic was "an excuse, not a justification".


For Labour, shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves called the judgement "troubling and unsurprising, and a perfect example of how this government believes it is one rule for them another for the rest of us". She added: "This government's contracting has been plagued by a lack of transparency, cronyism and waste and they must take urgent steps to address this now - by winding down emergency procurement, urgently releasing details of the VIP fast lane, and publishing all outstanding contracts by the end of the month."  (BBC -19FEB21)



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